Where I Get STUCK

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is loves, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

Those of you who know me well are aware that Philippians 4:8 is a special verse for me. After a life-changing experience with that message in 1997, I have been learning more and more about the benefits of keeping my thoughts focused on positive things and especially things I am grateful for.

A grateful heart is God’s Divine weapon against a consuming negative thought life.

I confess that I have a tendency to have a critical spirit. The up side of my wiring is that it is easy for me to see how things could be better in some way. Thinking creatively and finding ways to make improvements upon something come quickly and easily for me. I tend to strive for excellence and progress in life. The down side is that my busy mind and high expectations can leave me dissatisfied, discouraged, lacking hope, and putting inappropriate pressure on people around me (or at least giving them the perception of pressure which can be just as unhelpful).

There was some incredibly valuable insight for me when I looked at the Greek translation for the word THINK in this verse. I am to very intentionally KNIT my thoughts together in the direction of true, trustworthy, honorable, lovely things. What goes on in my mind must, ultimately, be woven in the direction of Christ’s perspective.

Psalm 38:9 models for me that I can lay my every thought and emotion out completely bare before the Lord. How wonderful that Almighty God deeply cares about everything that concerns me! He wants me to share from the depths of my heart with Him. God absolutely cares about even the darkest, harshest realities of what goes on in my mind. He just doesn’t want me to stay STUCK in the places of pain, anger, frustration, fear, hopelessness or dissatisfaction. He wants to hear my heart but then refresh my thoughts in what is TRUE and HOLY and RIGHT.

What do these verses say to you about your thought life today? Let’s share what we are sensing God teaching us together!

PSALM 38:9
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.

2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.

ROMANS 8:6
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

COLOSSIANS 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

ROMANS 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

PSALM 111:2
Great are the works of the Lord; they are PONDERED by all who delight in them.

When the Grief of Loss is RAW

On May 17, 2008, our friends Rob and Melody learned that their 21-year-old daughter, Danielle, had just been welcomed into heaven after a tragic car accident. All the angels rejoiced while a family here on earth experienced one of life’s ultimate heartbreaks.

Anyone who has experienced loss knows there are some days when grief is overwhelming. Danielle’s sister recently had one of those sorrow-filled days and Melody’s heart broke again trying to comfort her daughter. With Melody’s permission, I share here some beautiful and powerful discoveries she’s made in God’s Word that may speak comfort to many of us in various kinds of grief.

“February 2010 — I received a late-night call from Ashley. She’s having an emotional and teary evening missing her sister. After our phone call I prayed for comfort for Ashley and then opened my journal. I came across this entry that I wrote over a year ago.

PSALM 56:8 ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in a bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.’

Why does God keep our tears in a bottle?

PSALM 84:6 ‘When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!’

As a grieving person goes through the valley, their tears fall to mingle with the water in springs which can become a source of blessing to others. I’m picturing a pink bottle (filled with the tears from all those missing Danielle) and those tears are blessing others.

Further, in the midst of our pain, we can KNOW that He understands — and weeps along with us.”

——–

Today, God is using Danielle’s story and the love of Christ in her family to spread the Gospel message, teach the consequences of choices, and share the contagious hope they have that God is using their pain for eternal value. Visit Danielle’s website and learn more about the ministry that has emerged out of this mom’s journey through loss:

http://www.daniellepound.com/27712.html

When the Grief of Loss is RAW

On May 17, 2008, our friends Rob and Melody learned that their 21-year-old daughter, Danielle, had just been welcomed into heaven after a tragic car accident. All the angels rejoiced while a family here on earth experienced one of life’s ultimate heartbreaks.

Anyone who has experienced loss knows there are some days when grief is overwhelming. Danielle’s sister recently had one of those sorrow-filled days and Melody’s heart broke again trying to comfort her daughter. With Melody’s permission, I share here some beautiful and powerful discoveries she’s made in God’s Word that may speak comfort to many of us in various kinds of grief.

“February 2010 — I received a late-night call from Ashley. She’s having an emotional and teary evening missing her sister. After our phone call I prayed for comfort for Ashley and then opened my journal. I came across this entry that I wrote over a year ago.

PSALM 56:8 ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in a bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.’

Why does God keep our tears in a bottle?

PSALM 84:6 ‘When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!’

As a grieving person goes through the valley, their tears fall to mingle with the water in springs which can become a source of blessing to others. I’m picturing a pink bottle (filled with the tears from all those missing Danielle) and those tears are blessing others.

Further, in the midst of our pain, we can KNOW that He understands — and weeps along with us.”

——–

Today, God is using Danielle’s story and the love of Christ in her family to spread the Gospel message, teach the consequences of choices, and share the contagious hope they have that God is using their pain for eternal value. Visit Danielle’s website and learn more about the ministry that has emerged out of this mom’s journey through loss:

http://www.daniellepound.com/27712.html

Something New

ISAIAH 43:19
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

I seem to be running into a lot of people who feel STUCK lately. I’ve been there. Whether stuck in a relational rut, stuck in a behavior pattern (needing to kick a habit), or stuck in circumstances that are (or seem to be) out of my control, I certainly relate to what it feels like to be bone weary of living without a sense of progress that brings the kind of hope and encouragement I desire.

It seems to me that whenever I’m stuck, it’s for one of two reasons: either there is disobedience to God in my life (lack of trust in Him and/or stubborn unwillingness to yield to Him) or a simple need to watch and listen to Him until things become clear (keep reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping while I wait).

With a brand new year unfolding, I’m excited about being part of God’s bigger adventure of Life! I’m anticipating that He will be doing something amazing this year — in the world and in my own heart and family. Why am I so convinced? Because God never stops doing new and good things. In fact, He is the Creator of things that are good and new:

He puts a new “song” in our mouths – PSALM 40:3
He gives us a new name – ISAIAH 62:2
He gives us a new heart and puts a new spirit in us – EZEKIAL 36:26
He brings new mercies every day – LAMENTATIONS 3:23
He makes us a totally new creation – 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
He gives us a new birth in Christ – 1 PETER 1:3
He will bring a new heaven and a new earth – REVELATIONS 21:1

So when I read noticing the source of power behind Isaiah chapter 43 that demonstrates God’s intention to bless our obedience and stay right next to us through any turmoil, I am encouraged and challenged.

Are you looking for something new, refreshing, empowering, reassuring or affirming to happen in 2010?

IT IS OUT THERE FOR US! It is coming when we take a courageous step of obedient faith. It is also coming when all we know for certain is that we must remain surrendered at the knee of our Heavenly Father waiting.

Something New

ISAIAH 43:19
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

I seem to be running into a lot of people who feel STUCK lately. I’ve been there. Whether stuck in a relational rut, stuck in a behavior pattern (needing to kick a habit), or stuck in circumstances that are (or seem to be) out of my control, I certainly relate to what it feels like to be bone weary of living without a sense of progress that brings the kind of hope and encouragement I desire.

It seems to me that whenever I’m stuck, it’s for one of two reasons: either there is disobedience to God in my life (lack of trust in Him and/or stubborn unwillingness to yield to Him) or a simple need to watch and listen to Him until things become clear (keep reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping while I wait).

With a brand new year unfolding, I’m excited about being part of God’s bigger adventure of Life! I’m anticipating that He will be doing something amazing this year — in the world and in my own heart and family. Why am I so convinced? Because God never stops doing new and good things. In fact, He is the Creator of things that are good and new:

He puts a new “song” in our mouths – PSALM 40:3
He gives us a new name – ISAIAH 62:2
He gives us a new heart and puts a new spirit in us – EZEKIAL 36:26
He brings new mercies every day – LAMENTATIONS 3:23
He makes us a totally new creation – 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
He gives us a new birth in Christ – 1 PETER 1:3
He will bring a new heaven and a new earth – REVELATIONS 21:1

So when I read noticing the source of power behind Isaiah chapter 43 that demonstrates God’s intention to bless our obedience and stay right next to us through any turmoil, I am encouraged and challenged.

Are you looking for something new, refreshing, empowering, reassuring or affirming to happen in 2010?

IT IS OUT THERE FOR US! It is coming when we take a courageous step of obedient faith. It is also coming when all we know for certain is that we must remain surrendered at the knee of our Heavenly Father waiting.